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19th-May-2015 02:49 am - Mountbatten blast victim’s mother tells IRA man: Apologise for killing innocents
• Mother of teenager killed in IRA bombing demands apology from murderer
• Paul Maxwell was a crew member on Mountbatten's Shadow V when killed
• Request from Mary Hornsey comes ahead of Prince Charles's visit to site

**Please use the SITE SEARCH in the links to your right and type in 'Paul Maxwell' to see many more articles on this tragedy.

By Nicola Byrne
Daily Mail
16 May 2015

The mother of a teenage boy who died in the IRA bombing that killed Lord Mountbatten has asked his murderer to apologise for ‘the slaughter of children’ just days before Prince Charles’s visit to the site of the attack.

Paul Maxwell, a member of the crew on Mountbatten’s boat Shadow V, was 15 when he died in the 1979 attack. The other victims were Mountbatten’s 14-year-old grandson Nicholas Knatchbull and the Dowager Lady Brabourne, who was 83.

Mountbatten’s daughter Lady Brabourne and her husband Lord Brabourne were both injured but survived the blast, as did their son Timothy, Nicholas’s twin brother.

Bomb-maker Thomas McMahon is the only person to have been convicted for the attack, which happened after the boat party had set off from the fishing village of Mullaghmore in Donegal Bay.

McMahon served 18 years before being released in 1998 under the Good Friday peace agreement.

Paul Maxwell (left) was 15 when he died in the IRA bomb explosion

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday from her home outside Belfast, Paul’s mother, Mary Hornsey, said: ‘I would like him to apologise. I feel that if he has a conscience, he must have a great deal on his conscience because he killed two innocent boys.

‘What cause is great enough to warrant the slaughter of innocent children? It’s hard to know what is in Mr McMahon’s heart. If he were to lose one of his own children in such a sudden barbaric way, then maybe he would realise what an awful, heinous act he committed in taking my son from me.

‘I would like to ask him why he murdered my son – what purpose did it serve?’

At the time, Mrs Hornsey’s family lived in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland but had a summer house in Mullaghmore, where her son worked as a deckhand for Mountbatten.

She says Paul was a kind and gentle boy with friends from both sides of the religious divide in Northern Ireland.

Although Charles’s visit comes 36 years after the bombing, it is believed he has wanted to visit Mullaghmore for some time. He and the Duchess of Cornwall will arrive on Tuesday when they fly to Galway for a reception at the city’s university to celebrate the area’s links with Britain. Later they will be at a private dinner hosted by the Irish president, Michael D. Higgins, in Lough Cutra Castle in South Galway.

On Wednesday they will attend a service of peace and reconciliation at Drumcliffe church in Sligo.

Mary Hornsey (right) and Donna Maxwell (left), the mother and sister of Paul Maxwell pictured at his funeral

Welcoming the Prince’s visit, Mrs Hornsey said: ‘He is extending the hand of friendship and showing a great deal of trust. I commend him.’ McMahon, who lives with his wife in Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, works as a carpenter. He has ignored two requests from Paul Maxwell’s father, John, to meet.

Yesterday Mr Maxwell extended the invitation again, saying: ‘I’ve been asked do I forgive him? A lot depends on what he would say to me if I met him, which I would still consider doing.’

He added: ‘The Royal visit brings hope for the future.’

The Mail on Sunday tried to interview Mr McMahon last week. As he was leaving a hardware shop in Carrickmacross, our reporter asked him whether he had any regrets about the 1979 bombing.

He replied, ‘Good for you’ and walked back towards his car. He refused to comment on the Prince’s visit, before driving off at speed.

Bomb-maker Thomas McMahon (right) is the only person to have been convicted for the attack

A massive security operation is under way in preparation for the Prince’s arrival, as reported in The Mail on Sunday last week.

On Thursday, Irish police revealed they had foiled a suspected Real IRA bomb plot that could have led to explosives being planted near an Army base north of the border.

Charles enjoyed a close relationship with Lord Mountbatten, his great-uncle, whom he looked upon as a father figure and mentor.

It emerged yesterday that MI5 believed the IRA planned to shoot down the Navy helicopter carrying Mountbatten’s body back from Ireland after the bombing.

One of the helicopter’s crewmen revealed that they were warned of such a plot. Colin Douglas, who was a lieutenant in the Fleet Air Arm, said: ‘The Security Service threat assessment for our task that day [was] “likely to come under attack.” ’

In March 1979, an Army helicopter was nearly downed by the IRA when it came under heavy machine-gun fire in South Armagh.

Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma his two son-in-laws , grandchildren and Paul Maxwell returning from fishing at Mullaghmore, County Sligo

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